What do I do to honour my baby?
I am starting to feel a little cynical about this project. I thought maybe I would stop writing these posts, except that I am happy to be writing more frequently, connecting in a way to my girl. But my heart rebels against so many of these prompts and I realize how angry I still am; twenty-one months later and still filled with rage at what happened to my daughter and – especially – with the idea that I will make something of her death.
What do I do to honour my baby? I raised a few thousand dollars for the Children’s Hospital in her name. Just by posting on F**book. All the people who cared about me but who were too scared to talk to me gave money in her name. I joined the board of a not-for-profit society started by dear friends of mine. I walked to raise awareness.
I did these things, and I felt proud about doing them. I felt proud to be Anja’s mother, to do something in her name. And yet, if you ask me to talk about how I honour my daughter, my first reaction is to get my back up, to snarl and hiss and say, honour? Honour? It feels like just one more variation on the world’s attempt to help me find meaning in her death, to force me to find some way to say it was okay what happened to her, that I am okay with it, that her death did not mean nothing at all. And I will go to my grave protesting that there is no greater meaning to a child’s death.
But then there is the way that I write here. I write post after post, add word upon word, and – as I said in the first post I made here – every word is for her. So, maybe this is how I honour her. Not in grand gestures. And not in desperate promises to find beauty or live authentically or manifest grace. But just in these simple words. This effort to reach out and connect, to find others who will love her and remember her with me. In this anonymous space, this place I have made, just for me and her, I write my love over and over and over. My love and my anger and my fear and my bewilderment and then, again, my love: word after word after word, all for her, to whom I can give nothing else.